Straddling the eastern/central timeline as we do, mornings at any time of year confound me. The curtains are pulled back and the blinds raised prior to the sun appearing.
The bedroom end of the house looks west, so I depend on the clock--and the cats--to launch me into the day.
Checking on the greenhouse is one of the first tasks of the morning. The wet grass is cold through my garden clogs. Willis trails behind me, anxious to enjoy the warmth of the greenhouse. Sometimes he rolls onto his back, legs in the air in a corner beneath the 'L' of the benches. At other times he wedges himself amongst an array of pots and trays. A few times he has been turfed out for stomping through flats of delicate seedlings.
He always returns, basking in the heat.
The heirloom clematis, 'Candida' has settled in nicely along the wonky fence.
The original grew at our first Kentucky property; I've been able to move and nurture roots with our subsequent moves.
Each year I take many photos of 'Candida'--I am intrigued from the moment the first tentative tendrils start to clamber up the trellis. I watch as the buds plump, waiting for the morning that the first blooms slowly unfold.
Each detail of the flower is exquisite--even as recorded by my very simple camera.
Temperatures tonight are predicted to be close to the frost mark--should I have attempted to rig a covering?
The green shading is what makes this variety so lovely.
Capturing the dogwood blooms has been a frustrating exercise.
It seems that the wind always stirs the branch just as I click the shutter.
Plantings above the east retaining wall are--for the moment--tidy.
I expect that the landscape roses on either end will again frustrate me; marked as 'ground cover' they last summer reared thorny branches in all directions.
Seedlings of Clary Sage have been pricked out and potted on today.
Lemon Balm was also transplanted today into plastic 'four-packs' such as commercial greenhouses use. I try to sow herb and flower seeds sparsely, but they seem to fall onto the soil like salt pouring from a shaker. I can't bear to throw away even the smallest seedlings.
These miniature lilies spent last summer in a big tub, where they happily multiplied. I planted them last fall above the west retaining wall. I found several more little corms still in the tub and tucked them in with their mates.
Life has not changed greatly for us with the isolation orders. We don't go out to jobs, have no children home from school. Our church is closed and our young pastor has initiated 'Zoom' sermons and other meetings. We miss the weekly gatherings.
We continue to shop at the small stores in the nearby Amish/Mennonite community for such items as are needed to replenish our pantry. As rural dwellers we have always bought many food items in bulk--flours, grains, beans, rice, all things necessary for baking.
Jim goes most days to work at the property he is renovating. I have been spending every possible hour outside. I have dug over an extension to the perennial strip that edges the driveway, put in divisions of iris and lilies.
During the past three days I have laboriously grubbed up the mat-like invasions of buttercup that threaten to swallow the garden. It is heavy work! I went out again last evening, laboring until the soft darkness came down and the moon began its climb from a nest of lavender-grey clouds.
Today although the sun has been bright there has been a sharp and chilly wind. I couldn't bring myself to continue weeding; my aging bones raised a protest!
Instead I pegged sheets and towels on the line where they thrashed and flapped in the wind.
I was content to retreat to the sheltered warmth of the greenhouse, to lose myself in the quiet work of settling small seedlings into larger quarters where their roots can stretch and develop.
Strange times in which we are living.
So many confusing 'facts', scoldings, recriminations, warnings, dire predictions.
'Experts' disagree, conspiracy theories abound.
It seems that usually sane individuals are obsessed with the need to frantically post and share their latest pet theories and sources.
We aren't ignoring the dangers and the seriousness of the pandemic.
Jim's maternal family is on their third generation of health care professionals--we talk with them, ponder their advice.
We live quietly, taking care, praying for wisdom.
The spring season unfolds as it always has.
We are still here.